There are few automobiles to which more “firsts” and “lasts” can be awarded than the 1981-1983 Imperial.
The following article, written by Consumer Guide Publisher Tom Appel, first appeared in the “2018 Chicago Auto Show Official Show Guide.” Thanks to the Chicago Automobile Trade Association, producers of the Chicago Auto Show, for allowing us to share the text again here.
Thanks to easy access to ridesharing services such as Uber, Lyft, and Wingz, many urban dwellers have found that they can live free of the complications and costs of car ownership. On the occasion that short-hop transportation is needed, these car-free bon vivants turn to a smartphone app and order up a quick ride. Other times, public transportation suffices.
It’s a popularly held position that General Motors doesn’t take enough styling chances—or at least it historically hasn’t. I would argue that there are plenty of Eighties and Nineties examples of rather sterile looking GM vehicles that support this point, but a slate of inoffensive Cieras, Malibus, and Skyhawks hardly tells the whole story. General Motors has, in fact, taken many styling chances over the years–though the results weren’t always positive.
Car and truck engines are designed in a relatively small number of cylinder configurations. Inline 4-cylinder and V6 engines are easily the most common, with V8 mills coming in third in popularity.
There is an air of parsimony to the automotive print ads of 1982. Take in all of the examples and take note of the following:
If there is an automotive analogy to the concept of a shadow government, it’s the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). Although there’s nothing actually shadowy about the group, its members do establish a considerable number of standards and general guidelines by which the industry regulates and organizes itself. The SAE does this while having no direct relationship with any car manufacturer or the government.
Even folks with just a passing interest in comedy know that there are dozens of punch-line responses to the classic prompt, “Waiter, there’s a fly in my soup!” My new favorite is, “That’s possible–the chef used to be a tailor.”
The very last Pontiacs were sold as 2010 models, though production of all Pontiac models had ceased by late 2009. The demise of General Motors’ “performance division” was certainly a sad affair, but truth be told, the brand had become largely unrecognizable to many marque enthusiasts. With a largely alphanumeric naming scheme and an intentionally toned-down design theme meant to attract Japanese-car intenders, the Pontiac of the 21st century bore little resemblance to the nameplate once known for Wide Track design and the GTO.